Manchester United and Chelsea both had January bids rejected for World Cup star, player's brother confirms
Barcelona were also interested in acquiring the same player, but the selling club weren't willing to enter negotiations
Manchester United and Chelsea both had late January bids rejected for Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, his brother Nordin has confirmed.
Sofyan Amrabat starred for Morocco at World Cup 2022 as he captained the Atlas Lions to the semi-finals, the furthest an African team has ever reached in the history of the tournament.
His performances earned interest across Europe, but Fiorentina rejected all advances despite him having just 18 months remaining on his contract. According to brother Nordin, who played for Watford between 2016 and 2018, Barcelona also tried signing Sofyan in January.
“President Rocco Commisso said during the World Cup that he would not sell Sofyan, but I thought he was just trying to bump up the price tag," Nordin told Dutch outlet Voetbal Primeur.
“There was a lot of interest in Sofyan and he only wanted to leave Florence for a top level team. We received many proposals from England and those clubs were prepared to pay substantial transfer fees too.”
"Manchester United arrived in the last two days, but with an offer that was a loan with option to buy, which Fiorentina did not want to deal with. Barcelona had financial problems and therefore couldn’t afford to make it an obligation to buy either. The third club was Chelsea."
It was reported in January that Sofyan was attempting to force through a move to Camp Nou, but Fiorentina were unwilling to enter negotiations for their star man.
“Barcelona were prepared to pay a great deal and Sofyan really hoped that deal would go through, but Fiorentina said absolutely not," Nordin added. "He is one of their most important players, they weren’t going to let him go then. We can talk about a transfer again in the summer."
Part of the reason the deal didn't happen is because Barcelona weren't allowed to sign players permanently in January due to their financial sanctions, meaning they only offered a temporary deal with an obligation to buy.
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.
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